Last Friday, Dec. 13 (Saint Lucia’s day), the cultural organization Omnium Cultural celebrated its annual award night (“la nit de Santa Llúcia”). Its novel prize (“Sant Jordi” = St. George, Catalunya’s patron saint), endowed with 63,000 EUR went to Vicenç Pagès Jordà (Figueres, 1963) for Dies de frontera [border days].
The novel does not (only) talk about physical or state borders – it is set at the border town of La Jonquera – but mainly about the “eternal border implied by constantly living in a forced provisionality, ” as explains the author. “It talks about an important part of a whole generation, the one of today’s 30-somethings, that has given up living in a provisional precariousness for living in a definite precariousness, and that sees how this has consequences on all its human relations: with the partner, parents…”
Dies de frontera is about a couple of this generation that lives in La Jonquera and has to make decisions. “But how can you decide anything, if you don’t have anything firm? There are a lot of people in this situation; and for this reason they don’t know where they are and who get used to it.” In between, in the couple’s relationship, there is some “‘slipping’ – both in (un-) faithfulness as in their communication, and there are different epochs of ‘skating’ of one and the other.”
All together in a landscape emphasized by Pagès: “the unknow Empordà, the border one, not at all idyllic, somewhat like Tijuana, with prostitutes, strangers that come to buy tobacco, alcohol and gas, and the burnt surroundings left by a devastating fire [in July 2012, blogger’s note].”
Pagès’ website shows a 1992 book of his about literary prizes…